The USA is not an especially dangerous destination, I know. Despite this, I've been happy to have an extra feeling of safety with the app MY-SAFETY-ASSISTANT. In October last year, I began my au pair stay in the United States. When I turned my smartphone on shortly after landing in New York, the Safety Assistant app greeted me and delivered important country information. Okay, my new GPS coordinates were transmitted to the app and on this basis it recognised my location. Luckily, the app is all in English and is therefore easy to understand. After a short time, I started to receive security alerts about Hurricane Matthew that was approaching the Southeast coast of the US at this time. It was good to get this information. I was surprised to see that this warning was given the "yellow" classification. Depending on the urgency of each recommendation it is marked either as "green", "yellow" or "red".
The hurricane, which was ultimately responsible for major flooding and several deaths in Florida, was rated as being a serious risk right from the beginning. With my family in New Jersey, I was relatively far away from the centre of the storm and therefore happily didn't directly experience very much of the catastrophe. But if there had been a natural catastrophe or a terror attack with the "red" rating closer to where I was, then the app would also send me an extra SMS text message. This way I (and other users) get information about risks even when we don't have a WiFi connection at the moment.
"Track Me Now" function
What I didn't tell my somewhat anxious mother is that the app also has a "Track Me Now" function. This would make it possible for my family to follow my current position from their computer and see exactly where I'm located. For me personally, that would be a little bit too much surveillance. I prefer to write them a WhatsApp message or to post a photo on Instagram so that my family and friends at home can see what I'm up to.
With the MY-SAFETY-ASSISTANT app I mostly read the safety alerts that are issued for other regions in the USA and then am pleased that it's relatively quiet here in New Jersey. At the same time, I have the feeling that I'm well informed about what's happening in my new country – from storms to strikes to major accidents or attacks. I also like having an emergency button integrated in the app that lets me call "911" directly.
The safety app is supplied for one year to everyone who's covered with Dr. Walter Travel Insurance. That means whoever gets a PROTRIP-WORLD insurance policy can use the MY-SAFETY-ASSISTANT app for free. In addition to information about whatever country you happen to be in and real-time safety notifications, the app also supplies local news reports, has an optional "Track Me Now" function and an emergency button.